Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark posting its largest weekly retreat since May, amid concern a slowdown in economies from China and Korea to Australia will hurt corporate profits.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s largest mining company, and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the biggest maker of televisions and mobile phones, were the main drags on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) as investors sold shares with earnings closely tied to economic growth. Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC) slumped 20 percent as takeover optimism for the Australia coal producer dissipated.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 2.8 percent, the largest weekly decline since the third week in May, to 115.28. Data this week showed China’s economy expanded at the slowest rate in three years and Singapore’s gross domestic product shrank last quarter as South Korea and Taiwan cut full-year forecasts, adding to concern that global growth is faltering.